Terence Blacker: The value of a price tag on nature

The natural world cannot survive Osborne's cheerful free-market libertarianism

Katy Guest: Put your abacus away, Ms Spelman

Our writer recoils from the costing of nature's bounty

Steve Richards: Why cling to the least helpful targets?

As ministers insist they have no time for targets, you cannot move for them in relation to the economy

What price nature? Report puts financial value on UK's ecology

In a bid to reflect the true worth of nature, 700 scientists looked at the benefits of natural ecosystems

Coalition 'cowardly' over wild animals circus ban

The coalition was attacked from all sides in an emergency Commons debate yesterday over its failure to ban wild animals in circuses. In a bruising, 20-minute session, the Animal Welfare Minister Jim Paice admitted that he and Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, had misled MPs three times last week by suggesting there was a live legal challenge to a ban in Austria.

Legal challenge used to block circus animals ban

The Government’s used a non-existent court challenge as an excuse for blocking a ban on wild animal in circuses, it was claimed today.

Ministers call emergency summit as drought looms

One of the driest springs on record has sparked fears for agriculture and wildlife, while crews 'work to the point of exhaustion' to battle forest fires

Village People: The Coalition: a year in apologies

When David Cameron and Nick Clegg stood on the lawn at 10 Downing Street to herald the creation of a coalition government, there was an implied promise of a new kind of politics. Things have not all worked out like that, but it has been a good year for humility in public life. Every few days, another politician has owned up and said sorry. Here are some of the highlights of a sorry year.

The Future of England's Forests: How we got lost in the woods

After plans to sell off England's forests were dramatically shelved, The Independent launched a prize for the best writing on their future. Here, Michael McCarthy introduces the winning article

£100 million cash boost for English waterways

More than £100 million is being provided to help improve England's rivers for wildlife such as otters and trout, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Michael McCarthy: The world cannot allow these species to die out

It's a vast region whose forests are being cut down at a rate faster than those of Amazonia

Exclusive: Cameron signals retreat on NHS reforms

Health Secretary's plans have been put on hold as PM has yet again signalled an embarrassing about-turn

Sale of 15 per cent of English forests to raise £100m

Sales of a 15 per cent portion of English public forests will go ahead within the next four years, raising an expected £100m, the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, said yesterday.

Forests sale 'within four years'

Sales of 15% of England's public forests will go ahead within the next four years, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said today.

Government asked to investigate new pesticide link to bee decline

The Government is being asked to investigate a possible link between a new generation of pesticides and the decline of honey bees. It is suspected that the chemicals may be impairing the insects' ability to defend themselves against harmful parasites through grooming.

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